The Dodos "Certainty Waves (Polyvinyl)"
While the members of The Dodos were re-learning all of the songs from their 2nd album to play in its entirety during some live shows, they remembered how much electric guitar they used to have on their recordings. That epiphany completely changed the direction of the songs for Certainty Waves (Polyvinyl), their 7th album. So if you feel like its been a while since The Dodos rocked and/or rolled, then do I have some good news for you (and who couldn’t use good news these days, eh?) Sure, the drum led interplay is still here, but so are some killer electric guitar lines. So for a band that is so often thought of as acoustic guitars and drums, this is a breath of fresh (and plugged in) air. This is the duo at their most post-punk. Think Liars meet Walkmen meet The Dodos in “midlife crisis” mode (their PR). Check out the cacophonous, jangly first single “Forum.”
Young Jesus "The Whole Thing Is Just There (Saddle Creek)"
Its been some time since art rock has been this art… or this rock for that matter. Joint LA-based quartet Young Jesus on their experimental journeys into riffs, noise, shifts in tone, stretching out, and all around being a very good band. Its like The Sea and Cake teamed up with very early Modest Mouse to cover Miles Davis albums in his Bitches Brew phase. Yeah. It is that good. Polyrhythmic jazz-rock drumming, prog rock bass prowess, dirty, spindly guitars and John Rossiter’s manic vocals. This could be your new favorite band. Start the love affair with “Saganism vs Buddhism.”
YOWLER "Black Dog In My Path (Double Double Whammy)"
Philadelphia’s Maryn Jones has been releasing music in some form since 2004. She’s been a member of the “loud pop outfit” All Dogs as well as psych-folkers Saintseneca. But in 2013 she started Yowler as a solo project “where dark thoughts and too-quiet moments could be placed.” The result is Black Dog In My Path (Double Double Whammy), the second Yowler release. Mostly Jones’ lovely vocals (often multi-tracked) and acoustic guitar, with hints of bass and cello and other assorted band room denizens. Unless its not a ballad, because Maryn is not afraid to rock either. Magically delicate and powerful, these songs are a window into her soul–as the best songs usually tend to be. A little bit like Liz Phair’s early work, a little bit like Elliot Smith-this one packs a punch. Check out the emotional shuffle of “Angel.”
Eric Copeland "Trogg Modal Vol. 1 (DFA)"
I know. You’re sitting there anxiously awaiting Trogg Modal Vol. 2 by Eric Copeland to be released in early 2019. How about you calm down? After all, we need Vol. 1 first, don’t we? Otherwise, how are we gonna know the origin story that plays into Vol. 2 so heavily? You’ll be absolutely lost without Vol. 1 first. So get ready for Eric’s latest in “Freakbeat” (his words… I mean word) experimentality. Banging beats and quirky electro-instrumentality are the names of the game here. You can sure dance to this, but be prepared to dance at an angle-Batman ‘66 style (Batusi not required). Check out the quirk-bomb that is “321 Contact.”